You’re a truck driver. The road beckons and you love what you do. That being said, you may wonder how to stay healthy working in what’s mostly a sedentary profession.
Earlier this year we reported on some basic tips for trucker health, but we felt there’s a need to dig a little deeper. With more and more people entering a booming industry, what are some healthy habits that truck drivers should live by?
When you’re on the road, it’s easy to find processed, pre-packaged fare. There’s a deadline to meet and certainly no full-size kitchen available in your sleeper cab.
But just because the most convenient options are sometimes the unhealthiest doesn’t mean that you have to eat them, even in a time crunch. Most grocery stores have sufficient parking for tractor-trailers and offer up a variety of nutritious and convenient food items.
Try the following snack ideas to ensure your diet includes a healthy dose of natural foods:
- Pre-washed salad, lettuce or spinach bags
- Pre-washed and cut vegetables
- Pre-washed and cut fruit
- Whole fruits that are easy to eat on the go, such as apples, pears, bananas, etc.
- Pre-cooked, unprocessed meats or jerky
For those of you who need a little cooked meat in your life, try obtaining a small portable grill that will fit in your sleeper. When the moment’s right, grab some grilling meat and enjoy a carnivorously cooked meal.
When you’re on the road for days at a time, exercising regularly isn’t easy. In our report on trucker health, we outlined a few simple exercises that can be completed quickly and easily no matter where you are.
While knowing the proper exercises is important, there are other aspects of exercise to consider. In many cases simple exercise tools can be obtained cheaply and conveniently.
Have the following tools on hand to make sure you’re getting the most out of your exercise regime:
- Folding bicycles: Folding bicycles are a space-saving solution for those who miss their bike rides while on the road. These can be stored in the sleeper berth and brought out when at a truck or rest stop.
- Running shoes: An inexpensive pair of running shoes is an easy and effective way to make sure you’re staying active. You can just as easily go for a quick run or jog at rest or truck stops.
- Weights: To get more out of your run, carry small weights. Provided you’re selecting weights that are compact and easily secured, they are a welcome addition to almost any workout routine.
- Pedometers: A pedometer should round out your list of essential tools for truck driver health. These can be used to track your progress while walking, running or biking.
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to move on to the advanced stages of human health. Eating right and exercising regularly go hand-in-hand, but are you exercising your most precious organ?
When you’ve been on the road for hours, your mind may start to aimlessly wander. These are the moments when you can become easily distracted or get lost in thought, both of which do not contribute to safe driving.
Mental stimulation is the key to keeping yourself from being distracted by boredom. There’s several ways to make sure you’re keeping your brain active even if your body isn’t.
Here’s a few ways to make sure the brain’s entertained:
- Audio books: Don’t let the rules of the road keep you from enjoying your favorite book. Audio books allow you to keep up with your favorite authors or learn about subjects that interest you.
- Language tapes: Even if you don’t want to become a fluent speaker of another language, knowing key words and phrases can come in handy when you least expect it.
- Radio: Are you always listening to one type of music? Try branching out and trying new genres. Streaming services, such as Spotify and Rdio, also provide audio stand-up comedy and a vast array of millions of songs.
Whether it be eating right or taking care of body and mind, being a truck driver doesn’t have to be an unhealthy profession. There’s plenty to do to keep yourself in a healthy frame of body and mind. When it comes to truck driver health, even the smallest steps can make a big difference!